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CA Position: Donald Weber on Geography of Power

Lecture 24.09.19

CA Positions
Tuesday 24.09.19, 16.30 – 18.00

Camera Arts, BA Visual Communication
Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – School of Art and Design

745, Viscosistadt, Nylsuisseplatz 1, 6020 Emmenbrücke
Camera Arts / Media Lab, 1. OG


“Technologies of power” structure space all around us, both manufacturing and conditioning a securitized and surveilled society, one that is bound within an atmospheric topography of enclosure. This radically altered sky is reconfigured in the service of militarism, and foregrounds the modern image into being.

In what ways can a photographic practice act as a means to confront, or even undo, various forms of atmospheric enclosure that so clearly entangle our relationship with images, and the realities in which they were produced? What types of images will distinguish this new space of visuality? What are the possibilities for a set of critical and artistic strategies to reimagine ways in which the sky is not out to get us?

Within this context of a vastly restructured visuality through techno-politics,  it becomes imperative to situate a mode of practice that focuses the politics of image production over the content or the finality of the image itself in order to interpret the unseen networks that structure life under the state. This research aims to help identify the historical moment we are living in, and simultaneously explores what photography has become, and is becoming.



Donald Weber

Prior to photography, Donald Weber originally trained as an architect and worked with Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He is a photographer whose work explores the infrastructures of power in conjunction with the shadow states of globalized violence: societal, cultural, and economic.

Weber is the author of four books. His first, Bastard Eden, Our Chernobyl, won the photolucida Book Prize and asked a simple question: what is daily life actually like, in a post-atomic world? Interrogations, about post-Soviet authority in Ukraine and Russia, has gone on to much acclaim; it was selected to be included in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger’s seminal ‘The Photobook: A History, Volume III.’ Barricade: The EuroMaidan Revolt, is about the smoking language of revolution, made in collaboration with Ukrainian photographer Arthur Bondar. His latest, War Sand, tells the story of D-Day, from myth to micron.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lange-Taylor Prize, the Duke and Duchess of York Prize, two World Press Photo Awards and was a finalist for the prestigious Scotiabank Photography Prize.
His diverse photography projects have been exhibited as installations, exhibitions and screenings at festivals and galleries worldwide including the United Nations, Museum of the Army at Les Invalides in Paris, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Portland Museum of Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum. Weber is noted for his teaching, public presentations and workshops. He has three times been named ‘master’ for World Press Photo’s Joop Swart Masterclass and chaired the Documentary category of the World Press Photo Awards, 2015.

He is represented by Circuit Gallery in Toronto and is on the faculty of the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, The Netherlands in the Fine Art and Photography departments.

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